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Survey: Patients think hospitals can do better

October 31, 2008 by  

Survey reveals room for improvement at hospitalsPatients asked to rate hospitals across the country believe that the healthcare facilities had room for improvement, a new survey reveals.

As part of the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey, people filled out customer satisfaction surveys on 2,400 hospitals across the U.S.

The findings indicate that although many people are happy with the general level of care they received, areas such as pain management and hospital discharge instructions were found lacking.

Nearly one out of three respondents said that pain management was not handled well at their hospital, while around 20 percent gave communication about discharge instructions low marks.

Dr. Ashish Jha of Harvard explained that collecting the opinions of patients at healthcare facilities is not a common practice.

"It’s shocking that given the $2.1 trillion spent on health care that we have not had this kind of information before," he commented, according to Reuters.

The questionnaire covered six areas, including communication with doctors, communication with nurses, quality of nursing services, pain management, communication about medications and discharge information.

The study appears in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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  • M. Rosent

    Nationally to combat the lack of nurses in nursing homes (there really isn’t a shortage, they just don’t want a higher in nurses in some nursing homes, rehabs & assisted living) 37 states have passed laws allowing UNLICENSED aides to pass medications. These aides get 10 days of training (if you’re lucky). They get two hours to learn anatomy and physiology. They are instructed to assess heart rate & heart sounds to determine if a resident should get their medicine or not. New laws remove the requirement that an R.N. be in the house 24/7.

    They’re given three hours each to learn 5 entire systems of the body AND their diseases AND the drugs that go with that disease. They are allowed to pull, measure, mix, compound and give meds to every orifice of the body.  Inclueding buccal (in the cheek)sublingual ( under the tongue) and nasal which go directly into the bloodstream, and where a slight miscalculation spells disaster.

    I’ve been a registered nurse for 26 years & have a string of degrees and alphabet soup after my name. There is no part of my job more dangerous than when I pass medications… PERIOD.  When I pass medications there has to be a drug manual on the cart with me: these unlicensed aides couldn’t read the introductory page much less decipher the vital information contained for each drug.

    Since the use of medication aides the number of medication errors causing harm has skyrocketed to 800,000 per year! That’s not the worst part by far!
    Each year in this country (these figures are from 2006) 55,000 adults have been murdered in nursing homes by medication errors caused by these unlicensed aides!!! This isn’t … IT’S GENOCIDE!!!

    There are some of us were hoping & praying that citizens will start calling their families and friends and get them to contact federal, state and local representatives & DEMAND these laws be overturned and that ONLY licensed nurses be permitted to pass medications in every facility nationwide.

    You may send your inquiries to for more information or to see how to help.
    Thank you
    Maralee R. Koval RN,B-C MDS,C, BA

  • Bob Livingston

    It’s no secret that the quality of healthcare in hospitals has gone down dramatically over recent years.  I myself have almost been killed in a hospital by pain med overdose after a pretty routine medical procedure. 

    I urge you… if you have a loved one in the hospital, make sure someone sits with them around the clock.  The patient’s life may depend on it.  Bob.

  • Edward j Smail

    I had my mom murdered By a Manorcare Nursing Home in canton ohio.
    Miss Shirley j Black was sent to Manor care Nursing home because she needed “”Medical Care”“ while she was under going Radiation and Chemo treatments for Cervical Cancer. The lack of Medical Care and the Medical Malpractice, and the ability to Address other medical problems that was ignored, and disregarded because of Her medical Status “”Sabotaged”“ my moms Medical Recovery From Cancer. While at this nursing home my mother Shirley j Black was subjected to Medical malpractice, neglect and abuse me and my brother Donald a. Black who was the power of attorney tried to work with these people we told the Aids and social workers that are mother could be a difficult patient to be firm but gentle because she had chronic COPD. She couldn’t breath at times we asked that they try and time some of the stuff they wanted her to do when she could breath. We got them to put her on a pain management program of oxycodone because of the Vicodin they where giving her after she had stints put in here private parts was making her scream in pain when we would come to see her, she did a lot better on that. Well then we had to deal with there not cleaning her up after she would soil her self we would say something to them, and they would give an excuse that she wouldnt let them clean her up, and we would say to them couldnt you wait until she could breath or give her something for pain and they would tell us they would when they had time or that she had already had her allowed amount, me and my brother would ask about the bed sores she had came there with from Canton Regency Nursing Home and they would tell us they where just ok. And then we had this incident where I had just seen my mom on a Sunday she was doing just fine then , and the very next day I came in Monday and went in to see her and she had these massive black and blue marks on her right forearm on the top part of her left hand on the back of it and on her right shin bone of her right leg, I asked my mom what had happened she told me that a Nurse Stephanie and an aid came in the night before after I had left for the night and forced her out of the bed against her will to give her a shower or bath and in the process do to the younger nurses strength had wrenched on my moms forearm and hand to force my mom to take this shower she didnt feel up to that night. It caused the black and blue marks on her body then when they had gotten her in the room to take a shower they dropped her on the floor. I told mom that I would check in to it and went to the head nurses desk. I asked the head nurse what had happened to my mom and asked her how she gotten these bruises and I could tell that the head nurse for second shift was lying to me when she said that was do to her condition so I said to the nurse that’s not true that it takes physical force to cause bruises like that on my mom and all she would do is shrug her shoulders and look down she couldnt even look me in the eyes. So I went home and contacted the aging protective agency told them what had happend and they had a meeting with the manorcare staff and this lady from the aging protective agency and they gathered around my mom and me and they started throwing questions asking my mom what had happened in a intimidating way I felt so my mom was to scared to speak up about what had happened so she denied what had happened and the incident was let go.When they got mom back to her room I asked her why she had denied what had happened, she told me she was scared for her life that she had no one to protect her there. I found out later that I could of went to the Police and filed charges on this nurse Stephine for assault, I was so upset with what this lady who is supposed to be a care giver had done to my mom i wasnt thinking straight. One night I came to see mom at Manor Care and a Nurse came up to me and said I should check mom that they had put her on Roxanal that my mom was not doing good, this Nurse was trying to tell me secretively and the way she told me she was telling me because she didnt like the way the nursing home was doing my mom because she knew the way my mom was being cared for was wrong.They didnt know that I had contact with a neighbor who is a registered Nurse the whole time they where taking care of my mom, this is the nurse that had told me to tell them to get my mom on Oxycodone for her pain, I wondered if they had consulted my brother before they had changed Miss Shirley j Blacks pain meds since he was the power of attorney and they always consulted him about everything else but this one time they didnt and it help cost us my Moms life . Well I went in to moms room to check her like the nurse told me to. And I could see that she was in a bad way I could see it real fast and her nurse for that night had to know they are trained to recognize the signs to look for and my mom was being ignored on purpose. I seen it real fast I was there every day with mom and this happened just before before Christmas 12/20/07 I seen that mom was out of it and I got a hold of the power of attorney my brother Donald a. Black and told him, that mom needed to be in the hospital. I went and got about 4 of the Manor Care Staff and was talking to them to get them to see that my mom needed to be in a hospital,she was in septic shock right then, and they said they seen no reason to send my mom to the hospital that I wasnt the power of attorney I told them that the power of attorney was on the way . I said to them what do you plan on doing because my moms got cancer your going to let her die here in her bed they said no but that’s what they where doing! They gave me the impression that all they had done and hadnt done for her was so they could just let her Die of supposedly of natural causes so they didn’t have to treat her any more because they didn’t want to have to deal with my mom. Well the power of attorney my brother showed up looked at mom and told them to get her to the hospital, and the emergency room nurse that seen to Shirley j Black that night came out and said to me they didn’t clean her at the nursing home I said yea that they would leave my mom go that way for hours at a time, the Nurse told me she had to clean mom up and that she was going to report the nursing home for neglect . Well as the night went on the nurse that was taking care of mom came up and told us that her blood pressure was going down that he was going to have to get some meds in her and some fluid to help bring her blood pressure back up. I stayed up all night with her and went home the next day to get some sleep, . Well about this time from the Blood test they did in the emergency room they found out that Miss Shirley j Black had a Urinary Tract Infection so bad that it was in her blood stream. I made sure my brother had them take her off the Roxanol pain meds . And this leads to the Fact that Dr. Kenneth j Biros was in charge of over seeing miss Shirley j Blacks well being at manor care nursing home, he had to know that she was not being well cleaned, that everybody knew from the aids and nurses that was supposed to take care of her, and that she shouldnt have been subjected to a Urinary Tract Infection and if he had done his job and did some blood work, and a more thorough exams he would of recognized “”Sepsis Secondary”“and that she was going into Septic Shock. If this Dr Biros would of kept up with my moms medical records from Aultman hospital he would of made sure the nurses kept her clean so there was no recurring urinary infections and had her on meds to stop her from going in to septic shock, the few times he would come in to see my mom during my visits all I seen him do is ask her how she was, examine her chart and leave. If he wasnt so busy taking care of 2 nursing homes of patients and his doctors office, and cared a little about his patients, he should of known what the side effects of pain meds would do to a patient with some of her conditions like C.O.P.D., Roxanol is the last thing they should of given her because it depresses the system and there breathing. When I asked the head nurse about why they would give my mom this kind of med when they knew what it would do to my moms system, she lied to me and made the excuse that they felt the Oxycodone 5 mg wasnt working any more that the Roxanol would help her better, she was doing just fine on the Oxycodone, and they didnt care enough to change her med till we told them we wanted her meds changed, and what to give my mom to alleviate the pain she was in. So you see when I say that the reasons that Dr Sabota gave for the reason for Miss Shirley j Blacks Death are Bogus, we are willing to go far with this because what Dr. Kenneth j Biros didnt do is blood work so he could of caught the Urinary Tract Infection early on in the early stages of the infection and have mom on meds to keep it from getting so bad, so it would of been treat able. And what Dr. Biros did do is miss diagnose Miss Shirley j Blacks Pain meds when he changed her meds to Roxanol 5mg when her condition didn’t call for a heavy gun pain killer. And all Dr. Sabota did by filling out the Death Certificate the way he did was cover up for Dr. Biros and gives everybody involved an easy way out except my mother Miss Shirley Black.. We want the Death certificate to say what it should that Immediate cause or condition section: a Urinary Tract Infection and miss diagnose Pain Meds .
    Where it says: Sequentially list conditions, if any, leading to immediate cause that’s section b. Dr. Sabota
    s got down Metesic cervical cancer. And that’s not true they had given her a year to live and what they did and didnt do that’s what got her an early grave and she could have lived that year or more, they wherent even thinking about giving her a chance. Please help me on this I want them to pay we want to shut them down so they cant do this to somebody Elsies mother my mom didn’t deserve to die like she did and it could of been avoided with a little more care. I was there every night for over 2 months I walked the whole floor and looked in every room to see who was in each room and just to see if the other patients where going through the same kind of neglect and abuse my mom was going through and I seen and heard a lot. I had this nurse come up behind me one night complaining about how there was a lot of call offs and that there only 2 people on the floor and that she didnt have anyone to brake her to smoke a cigarette , I remembered that I had come on the floor and heard all the nurses at the nurses station say that there was a lot of call offs that night and they had call offs a lot when mom was there. Well I came in on purpose the next day on first shift to ask the manorcare staff about it to see what they would tell me, just to see if they would lie to me. I asked how many people do you keep on the floor at one time to take care of the patients and they straight face lied to my face and said 7, so I told them that was a lie that the night before there was only 2 and that I was there most of the night, they just looked at me and couldnt say anything because I had caught them in a lie, i just left . So you see there was a lot of cover ups there and I reported them a few times to the protective agency and they had an answer to cover up every time and we need help to shut these people down.

    PS. Some day this could be your mom
    Sincerely Edward j Smail jr and Donald L. Black


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